It's November, and that means most car magazines are pulling out their finest Thanksgiving Day clichs. We like to imagine them saying something along the lines of "It's time to get ready to gorge yourself on Aunt Mabel's Pumpkin Pie," "Let's spend the weekend watching football all day," or the fan favorite, "Let's see where else this turkey thermometer fits!"
But we're not like that. We're innovators, visionaries; we don't follow trends, we set them. So now we'll be 100-percent original and say that with the frosty fingers of Jack Frost now nipping at your collective noses, it's time to stash those cars away in the garage so that they don't corrode from all that road salt. Unless you live in our neighborhood, that is; then it's time to head to the beach and enjoy our annual "freak" 90-degree weather days.
Whatever the weather outside, now is a good time to get that bucket of bolts up and running. Don't worry; you won't be going it alone-we're here to help. So send in those tech questions to: Technical Support, c/o Super Street Magazine, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. Or take a break from uploading those turkey thermometer-enhanced videos and email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, the best tech question wins a prize. This month it's a gift certificate from Moss Motors (www.supercharger.com), good towards a purchase of one of its supercharger systems.
Question of the month
Q Since you guys are the ones in the know, I need your advice on a couple of things. I drive (not yet own) an '02 RSX Type-S. I say "drive" because I'm still paying for the damn thing and won't officially own it 'til 2011. I want to get intake, headers and exhaust long before then. If it's not too much trouble, could you advise me as to what is, hands down, the best of each that I could get? People I talk to don't agree on any brand or type. Like I said, you guys are the ones to ask. Your advice will be greatly appreciated.RobertVia the Internet
A Your question is sweet because it reminds us of hanging out at a ramen shop and debating what body kit is best, and what we always thought was the one that best fit within your budget! I think that the overall goal of your car and how much money you have to spend will be the biggest two factors in your horsepower-to-budget ratio. When purchasing any intake for your car, make sure to buy a CARB-approved unit, because the first thing the Man looks at is your intake, and if it's legal he will probably stop there. AEM (www.aempower.com) makes great products and most are 50-state street legal. Exhaust systems are like women; there are a whole lot of them and every man has a different taste! It's hard to say that everyone would agree on how one should tune a car and that is the lesson to be learned here. There are so many "best" options out there that it's hard to pick one.
Q I decided to get a Datsun 240Z and I am looking into the RB26DETT swap. I would like to bolt a 350Z transmission to it but I can't find out if it will fit or if I'd need a custom bell housing. If you have any advice I would appreciate it. LanceVia the Internet
A The RB26DETT swap is an ambitious one indeed. We will say that the RB block will not bolt up to a Z33 gearbox without modification to the bell housing. This is the case for all RB series engine blocks, and that means even the RB20. The RB20 and its little KA-style gearbox line up pretty nice though. We saw Ernie Fixmer do a RB20DET swap into an S30 Z car, so don't think this is a heap swap and make sure you have at least 30-percent more saved than your initial budget because you'll probably end up spending $10K plus to get it all done right-and that is only a rough idea of what it would cost to use a RB25DET engine set up. If this is still something you want to tackle, we'd also recommend buying brakes to go with your swap; seriously! Buy some good brakes. Make sure you can get the suspension upgraded as well, because 300hp Z cars are scary as hell when you have 35-year-old brakes and suspension! Check out Motorsport Auto in Orange, CA (www.motorsportauto.com); they have a ton of awesome stuff for the Z car. Good luck and send us some pics of your project as it moves along.
Q I have a question about my '87 Toyota Corolla (AE86). I want to do a motor swap to it and I'm thinking about a 4AGE silver or black top motor. But if I get one of those, what kind of engine mounts would be good for the motor and will my stock transmission work with those motors? Do I need anything else that's important besides new mounts? Albert MarteLinden, NJ
A Albert, that was one long ass sentence! I was once (well, I owned four of them!) an AE86 owner, too! Here is what I can remember: the black top 20V is a MAP-type air monitoring system, so it makes it a lot easier to adapt to RWD duty. An added bonus is that you can put the velocity stack on them and get the sweetest sound I have ever heard from a naturally aspirated car. If you have to break down and buy a silver top, you will be restricted by the air flow meter (AFM) and the only way around it is a stand alone engine management system. As far as engine mounts you can use the TRD mounts made for 16V 4AGE, and I would recommend using the 16v transmission with it. You may need to get a flywheel from the AE92's 4AGE, and you'll have to find a way to fix the coolant plumbing since it points out of the block straight out at the firewall. The wiring is pretty basic and most of it is just extending the harness. These are just a few things I learned when I did my 20V swap. If you are looking for the best help in the 4AG community, visit www.club4ag.com. There is so much information located in the tech sections, most of which are words of wisdom from the site owner, Moto P. Moto is a true 4AG fanatic and one of the key people in helping me do my own 20V swap back in '02.